Skype is not as popular as it once was and is something of a forgotten service. Microsoft focuses more on other communication tools these days, most notably Teams. However, the company is still willing to put resources, time, and R&D into Skype. With that in mind, Microsoft is debuting a new major redesign and an innovative new “TruVoice” translation service.
And that's where we will start because this really is a breakthrough technology that will be available for Skype users. Microsoft says the app now supports real-time translation for video calls and the translation will use your personal voice (TruVoice).
This means the person who hears the translation of you speaking will hear it in your actual voice. Microsoft has been working on this AI-driven technology for nearly a decade, first researching it eight years ago.
Now it is coming to Skype as a completely free integration. Microsoft has put Skype at the forefront of its efforts to connect people across language barriers. The app has plenty of tools to help people connect with those with other languages.
Real-time translation has been available on Skype for some time. However, users on the other end have been hearing robotic AI voices speaking the translation. By combining Skype Translator with speech recognition and natural language processing AI, the company can now deliver personal voice translation.
To do this, the software samples words you speak and tunes the translation response to sounds the same. Microsoft says the feature currently supports English, French, Chinese, German, Spanish, and other languages. It is available for one-to-one calls but will come to Telephony and group calls in the coming months.
Elsewhere in Skype news, Microsoft is offering a radical redesign of the app. Microsoft has been here before. Five years ago, the company delivered an overhaul of Skype with a fresh design and UI. However, users hated it and Microsoft was forced to revert back. Well, the company is now having another go at modernizing the Skype experience.
This time, Microsoft says the app is “more delightful and fun” than before. I am unsure what that means, but the company says the redesign will add new illustrations, smoother performance, better reliability, and fresh emoticons.
On mobile, more themes will be available and features are also integrating from the desktop and web versions.
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